It may have been freezing outside, but it was toasty warm inside at the Toledo Technology Academy on Wednesday, January 7, when the state’s top education official came for a visit.

It wasn’t just a social call.

Dr. Richard A. Ross, Ohio’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, came to the 7th-through 12th grade magnet school to give school officials and students their School of Promise award from the state.

Also on display were many of the student-made robots that the school has become known for.

It was the 5th year the school has achieved the School of Promise honor, developed by the Ohio Department of Education to identify, recognize and highlight schools that are making substantial progress in ensuring high achievement for all students.

Ninety-eight schools in the state of Ohio received the honor this school year – out of more than 4,000 schools.

To qualify as a School of Promise, a building must serve at least 40 percent economically-disadvantaged students and meet the following criteria:

· Eighty percent or more of students in grades that took the 2013-2014 Ohio Achievement Assessments and Ohio Graduation Tests must have rated Proficient in reading and math, including economically disadvantaged and racial subgroups.

· Score an Ohio School Report Card grade of A or B on their Annual Measurable Objective, to narrow performance gaps between student groups.

· Receive an A, B or C on student learning progress through the school year and a grade of A or B on high school graduation rate, if they were high schools.

Toledo Technology Academy learned in the fall that it had been named as both a School of Promise and a High Performing School of Honor, based on its 2014 Ohio School Report Card. Both of these programs look at proficiency in reading and math for all student groups in a school.

It was the first year the school had received the High Performing School of Honor designation, one of 48 schools to earn the award. Building on the Schools of Promise program, this designation recognizes schools that exceed Schools of Promise criteria.

To be a High Performing School of Honor, a school must:

· Be Title 1 eligible and serve 40 percent or more economically disadvantaged students.

· Have 90 percent or more of all students score Proficient on the Ohio Achievement Assessments and Ohio Graduation Tests over the last five years.

· Have 80 percent of all subgroups including racial and ethnic, economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities and English language learners who are Proficient.

· Show progress in meeting Annual Measureable Objectives, student learning progress and graduation rate over a five-year period.

When announcing the awards, Dr. Ross said, “Toledo Technology Academy is closing the achievement gaps among all students.”